Self care isn’t just face masks and massages. Sometimes even adding restorative self care to your life like more sleep and therapy can seem like a chore. However, taking things off your plate can make your life easier and can be easier to implement when starting a self care routine.
As I’ve worked on my self care routine with diligence this year, I only scratched the surface on subtracting things from my life that drain my energy. But truthfully, that might be the best place to start. So here are five things I’m not doing in 2022 to protect my peace and sanity.
Check out my podcast episode below if you prefer to listen instead of read.
Going to Events I Don’t Want to Attend
Before the pandemic, if I was invited to a birthday party, shower, lunch, etc. – I was going. Sometimes the even seemed fun, but more often than not I was going out of obligation. Society had put this belief system in my head that if I was a good friend/family member and I wanted to support that person, I needed to go.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, many events were cancelled. Some I was truly devastated over – like my BFF’s baby shower – but most of them gave me a huge sense of relief. If I was ho eat with myself, a lot of these events and parties drained me. I’m not one for small talk and most of the time that’s all these get togethers consisted of.
Once we were vaccinated and things started to open up again, I jumped right back into my old life. Saying yes to everything invite given. Only to realize very quickly that this habit wasn’t serving me. May 2021 was a whirlwind of a month for me and not necessarily in a good way.
After taking stock of these tendencies through journaling and meditation, I decided I’m not doing that anymore. If I get invited to something and it’s not a “Hell yes!” then it’s a “Hell no!”. Plain and simple. I would reply promptly with an honest “Can’t make it but I’d love to get together one-on-one next month!” (Because being one-on-one with people I’d where I truly shine.) and send a gift. No more guilt, no more questioning what type of friend/family member I was.
Participating in Kid Events That I Don’t Have Energy For
Along the same lines as not going to events I was invited to if I didn’t want to, I’m no longer going to events my kids are invited to if I don’t have the energy for them. Read: birthday parties, PTA events, extra curricular activities.
Now I’m not saying I’m never going to these things, I’m just going to every single one. A big thing I’ll be considering is how much small talk is involved at said events, because ultimately that’s what drains me the most. I’ll also take into consideration how much my kids want to go; a friend’s birthday party versus an ice cream social at the school.
Additionally, I’m not overloading the kids with extra curricular activities. In the beginning of the school year, I was considering letting Georgia try out for club swimming. She had loved swimming in the pool all year and ended the summer with a week long swim camp.
I knew she’d really enjoy being on the swim team. But after considering how much of a time commitment we would need to make with the practices and meets, I decided this year wasn’t the year to pursue it. We were still knee deep in this pandemic and it would be her first year going to school everyday for 7 hours. Adding swim practice and meets to our weekly schedule just would only stress me out. I felt guilty about it for a day or two but eventually took relief in the fact that we didn’t have that on our plate.
Reading Bad Books
Finishing a book I started has always been a non-negotiable for me. If I started a book and it wasn’t any good, I’d try to push through. Mostly because if I didn’t, I couldn’t add it to my “Books I Read” list. But also because I think I considered myself a flake if I didn’t.
Why do we do this to ourselves?? I know I’m not the only one. This year, I’m not finishing bad books. I’ll give it a few chapters and if it doesn’t resonate, I’m on to the next with zero guilt. Life is too short for bad books.
Same goes for movies or television series. If it’s not for me, it’s not for me. Don’t punish yourself with stuff you don’t like. You tried it and it wasn’t for you, no biggie. Even if everyone else is raving about it, sometimes it’s just not our thing.
Letting Unwanted “Advice” Get Me Down
Taking things personally is my middle name. If someone I love and trust has an opinion that might be applied to my life, I immediately start thinking I need to change the way I do things.
This is an example I used in my podcast episode that does stem from a real life interaction I had. Say I have a friend who mentions that she bought a rug that hides stains really well, I’ll immediately think that they think my rug has a bunch of unsightly stains and I should buy the rug they have. I know it’s a leap but I struggle with this line of thinking.
In 2022, I’m vowing to work on my thoughts and feelings around these interactions. While I have definitely been situations that I know were judgements directed at me, this is not the case most of the time. And like Dr. Seuss says “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”
If someone has a direct piece of advice that I didn’t ask for, my response will probably be something along the lines of “Interesting, I’ll look into that.” – if it’s a one off comment. If it becomes a stern of judgement, I’ll address it more directly and examine my relationship with that person.
Keeping Toys That Stress Me Out
This year I decided that my sanity was worth more than a few minutes of my kids’ happiness. Toys with lots of little pieces that aren’t easily cleaned up stress me the eff out and I’m no longer letting them live in my house.
With three kids 6 & under, I need to protect my energy at every turn. While I know and expect my kids to make messes, there are some that constantly trigger me and I knew I needed to eliminate them. Read: toys with lots of small pieces that I step on and can never seem to corral so their sight skyrockets my anxiety immediately.
Now there are a few exceptions to this rule. Legos are one because they’re a great educational toy that brings a lot of joy to my kids. They’re kept in a container with a lid and placed on a high shelf. If the kids want them they need to ask and then when they’re don’t put them away.
What do you want to eliminate and say no to this year?
I encourage you to take sometime with your journal and think about some things you’d like to eliminate this year. We all have too much on our plate as mothers and this is our time to really simplify our daily life for the greater good of our happiness.
Hopefully my five will spark some ideas for you. If you’re not sure what you should eliminate, take some time to brain dump everything you have on your plate right now and then circle the things you really don’t enjoy. Then try and figure out how you can eliminate them or delegate them to someone else.
Taran is a self-proclaimed undomestic mom. She thrives as a stay-at-home-mom by consistently carving out time for herself and practicing realistic self-care. As a busy mom of 3, she knows that if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy! With a focus on how SAHMs can carve out time for themselves everyday, she teaches fellow SAHMs how they can do the same.